Vachak Taar (c.1003 HC to 1040 HC)

The first Goblynking, victor of the Battle of Cravenrock, Vachak Taar has many accolades to his name, and few of them were of any use to the hapless goblyn during his short reign over all of the goblyns of Talthak. Taar was a fine tactician, and fearsome in personal combat, but his greatest strength seems to have been his ability to rally warriors around himself, and the speed at which he could shift the allegiance of a warrior from the tribe of his birth to following Taar.

Early Years, c. 1003 HC - 1029 HC

As a child Varchak Taar was born to the leader of the Shattered Hill tribe of the Forest, but when he was just an infant Taar's father was overthrown by another warlord, and slain, and his father's most loyal warriors managed to smuggle him out of the encampment, only to have second thoughts and abandon him in the forest. Taar, perhaps two years of age, was found by outcasts and raised as a slave in an iron mine. Here he grew strong under the weight of the iron, and tough from the lash of the whip.

Taar was a good worker, and was thankful to be alive, even as a slave. He worked hard and rose to be an overseer of other slaves, cracking the whip rather than feeling it. When he finally emerged from the mines he was grown. Favoured by the master of the mine he was allowed to become a warrior in the master of the mine's retinue, and then the master aligned himself with the Shattered Hill and the young Taar was sent in command of a contingent of warriors as a gift to the Karv of the Shattered Hill.

Karvdom, 1029 HC - 1037HC

By the time of his arrival at the encampment of the Shattered Hill the band of warriors were totally loyal to the outcast Taar, and when he presented himself in the Karv tent he looked into the eyes of the usurper who slew his father. He quickly took the other goblyn's head while his warriors were upon the Karv's guard, but before it became a true massacre he raised the head of his foe, and proclaimed his rule by right, and the bulk of the dead Karv's guard fell upon their knee before Vachak Taar and hailed him as Karv without delay. Those who did not, as well as those he knew to have been his father's advisers and thus betrayers he ordered slain there and then. By the time he emerged from the Karv's yurt, before the encampment was even fully alerted, Taar had no less than fifty of the tribe's finest warriors at his command.

As Karv of the Shattered Hill Varchak Taar proved to be deadly efficient. He siezed lands to the east and west from neighboring tribes, including the Rending Claw and Tree Spiders. Other Karvs came to respect and fear the Shattered Hill and their fierce leader. But his most famous exploits were against the landsmen. His lightning raids against landsmen settlements throughout Reddown and his brutal putting down of all invasion attempts into his territory became things of legend amongst the goblyns of the Forest. Only Mokkab Bushla could defeat Taar on the battlefield, and even when the two did occasionally clash this was far from reliable, and Bushla had his interests more occupied with the landsmen than his goblyn neighbours.

Taar was largely uninvolved in the early years of the goblyn wars, however at Kemmer Field this changed. Taar and Bushla met and joined their forces together in order to make a decisive blow against the Earldoms of Heliard and Evanshir. The sheer number of goblyns who took the field was unprecedented and the combined forced of both Earldoms were quickly routed, however Bushla, Taar's key opponent, was wounded in personal combat with the Earl of Evanshir, and Taar took the opportunity to take the life of the elder Karv and claim his warriors and goods. With this addition to his already vast forces Taar took control of an old mine on the banks of a lake and heavily fortified this fastness from which to strike out at the remaining forces in these northern forest earldoms, while he and the bulk of his army marched west to occupy Maratharn, Darrenshire, Kirshire and Shornfar.

Karv of the Talthak, 1034 HC - 1037 HC

In 1037 HC the Karvs of the eight major tribes of the roughlands came before Varchak Taar in his cliff-face fastness, which he had named Taar's Rock, the war was going badly in the roughlands and they wanted aid, and in return they were all willing to pledge their allegiance to him as Over-Karv, for the remained of his life. Taar agreed, and quickly made ready to ride out and bolster their forces, however this would leave his already thinly-stretched forces at risk from seizure from another tribe. It was then that ambition truly occurred to Taar. Calling together the Karvs of the four other tribes of the Forest Taar proclaimed himself strongest, as the Karv of no less than ten tribes. Threatening the other Karvs with total conquest he demanded that they swear an oath to him, and make him Karv of all of the Talthak. With enemies on all boarders and the military behemoth of Taar's tribes looming in the north the other Karv had no choice but to comply, and Taar was able to go to the roughlands with forces drawn from the other tribes of the Forest, leaving his force at full strength and unchallenged. He pacified the roughlands in under a year, and brought many giants to his side, many of whom he returned home with as a personal guard.

By the beginning of 1035 HC Varchak Taar had total control of the largest nation seen on Ahlonia since the ancient Siele Kingdom. Taar marched up and downb his boarders winning battle after battle, and though the rest of his combined forces were unruly, and prone to infighting, and often defeated, wherever Taar's main force marched whatever territory they had lost was swiftly retaken. Little by little boarders were pushed back into the heart of the three landsmen realms. The Karv of all of the tribes met seasonally in a great caucus at Taar's Rock, where they made battle plans and divided spoils, always making a tribute to the battle Karv of the Talthak for his aid, and Taar grew wealthy and powerful. However by the end of 1035, seeing that the goblyns were now united, the forces of the three landsmen nations began a desperate march out of Barvenham in the west making for Taar's Rock, which was now coming to be known as Cravenrock.

The Battle of Cravenrock and Death, 1037 HC - 1040 HC

The Three Nations Army retook Fort Shorn some time during 1036 HC and secured supply lines despite goblyn resistance. It was then that Taar realized just how strong this force was, and that its sole goal was to break the back of goblyn unity by killing him. And Taar hatched a cunning plan. He would put up only a token resistance until this mighty empire reached him, and then bring the bulk of his force to bare, smash them against the face of Cravenrock and then driver the survivors into the sea before they even realized his rouse. However many of the other Karv did realize, and resented their forces being thrown away in planned losses in the name of a trick, and wanted to smash the landsmen before they even entered the Forest. They made plans to leave Cravenrock in secret mere days before the landsmen arrived.

Finding out most of these Karv Taar had them massacred before their men, but some deserted and left him undermanned for the massive assault he had planned. Taar needed time to tap goblyns from the roughlands, and he simply hadn't the time. So when the forces of the Tree Nation Army arrived at Cravenrock Taar combined something goblynish with something very un-goblynish. He paired the war of attrition that his people had pioneered against the siele with siege warfare of the landsmen. He converted all of the mines into raiding tunnels, knowing that the landsmen would not enter to search them if he had to, and with each raid he would collapse a tunnel behind him and open another. Meanwhile he left no above-ground entrance to Cravenrock open, and the sheer rock of the place proved almost unassailable. For four months he maintained this kind of battle, until in frustration the leaders of the army departed in frustration. Mere weeks afterward the force from the roughlands arrived and joined that which he had hidden in the forests, and this flanking force annihilated the besieging force nearly to a man. It is said that the lake bed around Cravenrock is more bones than mud even to this day.

Buoyed on by his success and furious at having let the combined Kings of Ahlonia slip through his fingers Taar made his greatest mistake. Instead of consolidating, the day the siege was lifted Taar took his entire force and marched after the remaining landsmen. However the Kings had too much of a head start, and they reached Fort Shorn a mere three days ahead of Taar's mounted force. Taar besieged the fort, sending sappers against the walls and launching the dead into the walls to spread fear and disease, in the meantime he abandoned the title of Karv of the Talthak for Goblyn King, proclaiming the whole of Ahlonia his own. When his advisers told him that a force from Highdunn was smashing its way through the forest at their rear Taar merely laughed. Terrified that he was going to lose everything they had already won, and determined to consolidate, his advisers drove off the giants who guarded Taar and murdered him in the night, before completely withdrawing and splitting back into their tribes to consolidate their territories in the forest.